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tuesdays with morrie

"have you ever really had a teacher? one who saw you as a rare but precious thing, a jewel that with wisdom, could be polished to a proud shine? if you are lucky enough to find your way to such teachers, you will always find your way back..."

this past week i was rereading that book. and as well i have been adjusting and reworking my resume, i called all my references to 'check in' and let them know they would be receiving phone calls, emails, and the like in the near future. it is an honor to me to call these people my references. because they are so much more than that. each of these people, in some way, is a hero to me.

in particular, reading tuesdays with morrie, i think of two people in my life. my aunt susan, who i was forced to say goodbye to too soon because of that horrid cancer. the other, my favorite college professor, and advisor, and an aforementioned reference, i'll call him chappy. because that is what i have always called him. it's what i still call him. mitch albom, author of tuesdays with morrie, called his professor coach. i call mine chappy. (with the comment that he was, at the time i was enrolled at roberts, the college chaplain).

the book reminds me of these two people for different reasons, and yet so much the same. it's about a college professor, and a former student. it's about a man so very wise, so sincere, so honest, so... incredible. chappy is all that to me. my favorite professor, a man i admire for his intelligence and insight, awareness into humanity. the book is about a relationship that is foraged through years, and is, in fact, one of the most important in the author's life. it is the same for me with chappy. he is, as he was when i was his student, a tremendous person, and tremendous part of my life, my views, my summation of life itself.
it reminds me of susan too. susan however, was never officially a teacher to me. i never took one of her painting classes, though of my few regrets in life, that is one. she was my aunt. though that too is an unofficial title. she and her husband, my uncle, attended college together. there is no blood, nor marital relation between myself and my beloved aunt and uncle. she was my second mom. my entire life had her in it. her spirit, her constant reading, her awareness by sight as an artist, i hope i have picked up by some sort of osmosis through 23+/- years of our relationship.

it reminds me of her too, as i was one of those who watched her fade away. took her to chemotherapy and admired her strength. one who adored her as i watch that poisonous injection of chemo delivered into her body. went with her to a nutritionist, hoping (desperately) that it would help. one who sat beside her bed in the 'great' room at casa de spencer, and clung to the hope that somehow, something would change, and we'd get the miracle she deserved.

mitch watched his professor die.

i watched my aunt die.

"death ends a life, not a relationship."
amen to that. i was blessed with her for so much of my life. she is still now my aunt. my second mom. my hero.

i still wish death hadn't ended her life.


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